Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Weight Loss - Diving In

          Last week I traveled to Paris, Kentucky for a 50 year reunion of those of us who attended boarding school at Paris American High School in France. Kind of cool about the same city name/different locations, isn't it? Well, picture this:  fried catfish sandwiches dripping with heavenly homemade tartar sauce, light as air deep-fried French fries, lemon bars, bourbon cream, crusted salmon, buttered green beans, rum and coke, pulled pork, ribs with your choice of three different kinds of sauces, potato salad, smoked chicken sandwiches, fruit salad, brownies...and the list goes on and on....for five full days.

          And I dove in. So much for my healthy eating plan and for my best resolution to stay on track during this vacation. I never ate past full but I ate everything. This morning, after getting home late last night, we began the first day of some home remodeling we're doing on our new place for our move-in date of July 1st. I've got some cooking utensils here and some at the new place but for the next few weeks, we'll be eating most of our meals at restaurants.

          Having said all that, I've decided not to continue with my efforts to lose weight right now. This is a difficult decision for me because, instead of just quitting on my own without anyone knowing, I have to do it here publicly. But I promised to be honest and that's what I'm doing. While I don't feel like I completely failed, I am concerned I may have let you down ... that I didn't stick with it long enough or try hard enough.
          The bottom line is I don't feel like doing it ... perhaps I will when my new husband and I have moved in and things settle down. Perhaps I'm using traveling and moving as excuses. I don't know. At least I feel good about being honest about my decision. My motivation this go 'round was never as solidified as in past attempts and that may be because I know for sure I'm more than how much I weigh   ... and you are too.

          Life goes on whatever our bodies look like. There'll be no harsher critic than myself.

          I wish you the best in your weight journey and, I'd love it if you keep me posted. I may be out there again sometime soon ... or not.

Contact me at antoniasseniormoments@hotmail.com

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Should You Forgive? If So, How?

          About a year ago I wrote this piece on forgiveness, right after the incident at the Boston marathon. The issue of forgiveness is timeless. As we are again taking an in-depth look at it at my spiritual home (Center for Spiritual Living), I thought I'd reprint this post as it continues to be applicable..

          Are you ready to forgive Lance Armstrong for doping or Charlie Sheen for ranting or the Boston marathon bombers? Perhaps you can forgive Lance but not the bombers. Perhaps it’s not that we can’t forgive as much as we don’t want to forgive.

           In a nationwide Gallup poll, 94% of Americans surveyed said they aspire to forgiveness, but only 48% said they usually tried to forgive. This represents a huge disconnect between what we say we want to do and what we actually do. Why is this? Do
From m_bui via Flickr
we see it as a weakness to be forgiving?

           All month long I’ve been focused on the issue of forgiveness. It’s been the spiritual practice of the month at the
Center of Spiritual Living. This focus has given me the opportunity to examine more closely my beliefs about forgiveness and see what’s working and not working for me. One of the first things I discovered about myself is that I forgave some but not others.

          This month-long forgiveness practice has taught me, however, that true forgiveness has nothing to do with others and everything to do with myself. While it benefits both giver and receiver, it is a colossal gift we give ourselves. The only true benefit I can get from forgiving is if I use it across the board, without the judgment call of who deserves it. Why is that?

          It’s because, as a metaphysician, I know what I give will be returned to me. If I give out a loving feeling or thought of forgiveness to the universe, that is what will be returned to me. It doesn’t matter if it is deserved by another, returned by them or if they are even aware of my forgiveness. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying we should forgive someone and then be close to them and set ourselves up for possible pain again. But forgiveness is really about the letting go part, letting go of the anger, pain, self-pity, angst, fear, etc. And letting go frees us, heals us, keeps us safe, etc. (see How to Let Go of Attachments).

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

My Dad

Ed Albany

          My dad was a difficult man to love.  He was an alcoholic, verbally abusive, and madly in love with my mother who kept him tethered on a tenuous lead. I was afraid of him, and I loved him.

          Now, as an older adult, I can admire all that he overcame to make a wonderful life for his family, of which I'm the only remaining member.  He was born on a farm in Milwaukee, the son of Polish/Italian parents. His father, Nick Albany, died at the age of 24 of rheumatic fever. His mother remarried and provided a stable if not meager home for him and his sister.

          Dad began his career in show business. He was in Ziegfeld Follies and became "The Human Echo." He'd say whatever you were saying (in English or any foreign language) simultaneously. It used to annoy the hell out of me because he'd do the echo bit when I was upset...I felt he was mocking me. I see now he was probably just trying to add some levity to my immature angst.

          Once he was married and there were little ones to consider, he joined the Army Air Corps, which later became the Air Force. This career allowed us to travel all over the world, and we lived in Japan and France. I wasn't so thrilled as a youngster about being away from cool American stuff when I lived in foreign countries, but today I can see my broad outlook of the world is based on these foreign living situations, for which I am now immensely grateful.

          Dad died 38 years ago, and I miss him. He was a pain sometimes, especially when he'd make a pass at one of my girlfriends, but I am grateful for all that he did for us. He wanted the best for us and took pride in being able to give us something special in life. His trouble was with my mother. My sister and I just got caught in the middle as so often happens to kids.

          This Father's Day I will think of him fondly, forgive all his foibles and wish he was here to see how well I've done under his early tutelage.

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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Weight Loss - Month 1

          I've had friends say something like, "When I look at you I don't see your size, I see a loving friend who is talented, smart and pretty." I don't recall saying I wasn't those things because I'm fat. I have fairly consistently felt like all those things, some stronger at different times. It doesn't feel like conceit to say that, it just feels like I'm acknowledging myself as a valuable and deserving person whether I'm fat or not.

I have always been confident and capable but being heavy has served a significant role in tempering my strengths and successes. If I didn't get the promotion, or the guy, or picked early for a team event, it was easy to blame it on being fat.

          Over the years my weight issue has acquired a life of it's own. I continue to perceive it as a possible excuse for any failure or disappointment. I try to recognize that thought process and move on. Sometimes, however, in spite of my efforts, it still feels like a yoke of discomfort and a limitation that I've struggle to be rid of.

A little background history

          I wasn't always heavy. I  didn't realize the power of weight until, at age 13, I saw the impact it had on my petite 90 lb. mother who tried to sew for me. Without a re-telling of all the drama, suffice it to say I reveled in having a powerful tool to make her life miserable.

          But that was then, and what started out to torture my mother turned out to make my life miserable too. I've learned, since then, to take responsibility for my continued weightiness which has lasted off and on until present day. I don't blame anyone anymore.

Month 1 recap

          In the past when I dieted, I starved myself...and could lose 10 pounds or more a month. However, I've gotten to the age and temperament where I can't and don't want to starve myself. This first month has been pretty easy because I've eaten regular food and even had wine frequently. We eat out a lot, and I've been able to make choices without feeling deprived. This month I basically avoided carbs (breads, rice, pasta, sugar) but realize leaving out an entire food group for life is probably not feasible. We'll see....this is all part of the process.

          As I said at the beginning, I'd also love to hear your comments on any I've shared or on your own experiences if you are or have done this sort of thing in the past.

          I'll report again on Tuesday, July 1st.  In the meantime, after losing 5 lbs during the past 30 days, this is me today:

215 lbs.

Contact me at antoniasseniormoments@hotmail.com or
  Antonia's Senior Moments on Facebook